The Search for The Art Therapy Method: One or Many?

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Dr. Paola Luzzatto


Art Therapy may be described as a therapeutic method that employs the use of “images” to facilitate “communication” in the therapeutic setting (Case & Dalley 1992). We may visualize an art therapy grid, where the image making process (the vertical axis) is facilitated in different ways, and the communication (the horizontal axis) moves along a continuum, from intra-psychic to interpersonal. This articulation makes the art therapy method very flexible, suitable to respond to different needs of the clients, through different interventions. In this presentation I illustrate three types of art therapy interventions, which I have carried out in different institutions: 1) A “non-directive” open studio; 2) A “structured” art therapy group 3) Short-term “Individual art therapy”. I intend to show how these interventions, which sound very different, share the essence of the “one” art therapy method, using images and communication at different levels, in the art therapy setting.

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